Radio News Amateur's Handibook (1929)

The cover of the Radio News Amateur's Handibook from 1929 shows a well-dressed couple watching eagerly as a handyman installs a radio in the mantle above their fireplace. It's an interesting precursor to today's "modern" times, when homes wired for sound are commonplace.

In the early days of radio, manufacturers went to some lengths to disguise radio machinery to blend in with furnishings in a parlor or living room. Some 1920s radio cabinets don't look like radios at all until you open a door or panel to reveal the controls. Other receivers were cleverly concealed inside tables or other furniture.

It didn't take long, however, before the radio itself became a centerpiece rather than an ugly duckling. By the 1930s and 1940s, most radios proudly displayed their speakers and controls and designers found innumerable pleasing ways to integrate these elements with the cabinet.

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